Thursday, October 5, 2017

Long Rides

Finish line!
It's been a skinny year for long rides. But I did manage to take part in my favorite ride, the North Shore Century, and a new ride: the Kickstand Classic, an actual timed race.

Taking a break in Lake Bluff.
The NCC was, as usual, very well organized and a joy. I joined a thousand of my bike-riding friends at sunrise near the Northwestern University campus (Go U Northwestern! Sorry!) for a sojourn through the far northern 'burbs: from the merely expensive neighborhoods of Evanston, through the million-dollar homes of Wilmette, the ten-million-dollar homes of Kenilworth and the "Well, I'm sure someone keeps track of these things" homes in Glencoe.

Every 15 miles or so, there was a rest stop with abundant food and hydration options: bananas, Clif bars, bagels, pickles, donuts, mini-Nemo's-sub-sandwiches, grapes, etc. The last 10 miles is always a real test of my endurance, but when I see the Baha'i temple I know I'm getting really close and I'm going to finish.

I completed the Metric Century (67 miles, 108km) in 5 hours, 11 minutes.  Goal for next year: five hours.

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Yay my also-ran medal!
The 2017 Kickstand Classic was my first-ever timed race. It was a well-organized event and I was moderately happy with my results but I hope to do better next time ... that's probably the whole point of races, right? I finished the 19.4 mile course in 1:11:45, for an average speed of 16.26 mph. My goal was an average of 15 mph.
Jason and Kristie: notice anything?

I liked being timed for the race, but I had mixed feelings about being ranked. I finished 236 out of 351. Bleh.

Next year's goal: finish in the top half and first in my age group (I finished 2nd). According to this race's spreads shown on the website, I'll have to finish in 1:05 or less to make 175th. I think I can do that, especially if I lose a few pounds by then.



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